Confusion over kid kicked out for natural hair


The eight-year-old girl who was kicked out of class at Kings College in Mdantsane for wearing dreadlocks might go back to school on Friday.
Department of education spokesperson Loyiso Pulumani told the Dispatch that the matter would be resolved on Thursday.
“An official from our governance section has intervened; we are working to ensure that the matter is amicably resolved before the end of the day today,” Pulumani said on Thursday.
In an e-mail on Thursday, the school once again declined to comment, saying the matter was between them and the department.
The Grade 3 pupil has not attended school for two days because her father, Siseko Siwisa, has refused to sign the school’s new code of conduct.
Siwisa, a small business owner, said his daughter was denied entry to her classes after he failed to sign the new code, which does not allow pupils to have dreadlocks.
“They want my daughter to stop having her natural hair and relax it. That will not happen.
“I stand by my decision not to let my child have chemicals on her hair.”
The young pupil sat at the school’s reception area for two days before her father decided not to send her to school.
“Nothing has happened after Monday,” he said on Thursday.
“I reported the matter to the department and all they said was that they would follow up on it.
“I heard them speaking about it on the radio. The department’s head of communication, Malibongwe Mtima, said they had dealt with the matter.”
He accused Mtima of misleading listeners as nothing was done to sort the issue out.
“I called Mr Mtima and asked him how he can say they have visited the school when they did not. He told me he was on his way to the Rubusana education offices in Mdantsane and after I called him for the second time, he told me that they had sent an education inspector to the school but none of that happened.”
The irate father said he had tried to engage with school management but to no avail.
“I called the principal and he said they were never told by the department to allow my daughter back to class.”
In the radio interview on Wednesday with a national broadcaster, Mtima said they had instructed the school to allow the pupil to attend classes, and that the department had requested a report from the school on the matter.
“Why was the school policy approved when it is against the constitution of the country?
“Because all our policies are in accordance with the constitution,” Mtima said.
“We instructed the school to allow the child back to school, and secondly the hair issue must be removed from the school policy because it is clear this policy is misleading.”..

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